United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
PABLO A. ZENTENO and MARIA J. ZENTENO, Plaintiffs,
BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., Defendant.
WILLIAM F. JUNG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
due consideration of Plaintiffs’ Motion to Compel
Better Discovery Responses (Dkt. 97) and Defendant’s
Opposition (Dkt. 101), the Court concludes the motion should
be granted in part and denied in part.
responded in late December 2018 to Plaintiffs’ requests
for production, requests for admission, and interrogatories.
Dkt. 97-1 at 30-58 (requests for production), at 20-29
(privilege log), at 12-19 (requests for admission), at 74-96
(interrogatories). Plaintiffs now seek more precise responses
to the discovery. Dkt. 97. For the following reasons, many of
Plaintiffs’ discovery objections are not properly
before this Court.
counsel on July 12, 2019, set forth in great detail the
asserted shortcomings of Defendant’s responses to the
requests for production. Dkt. 97-1 at 1-9. The particular
responses were identified by number. Id. Defendant
agreed to amend its objections and supplement the responses
by August 2, 2019. Dkt.97-1 at 10-11 (email dated 7/26/2019),
at 59-73 (supplemented objections and responses). Although
the July 12 correspondence referenced generally the responses
to the requests for admission and interrogatories, none were
specifically described or identified.
26, 2019, in an email, Plaintiffs’ counsel for the
first time identified the interrogatory responses with which
he took issue. Dkt. 97-1 at 10-11. In the same email, he
requested that Defendant’s counsel respond to the
issues regarding the interrogatories by August 2 or
“they will be included in our Motion to Compel.”
Id. at 10. He was apparently referring to his motion
to compel responses to the requests for production, which he
would file if Defendant failed to supplement as promised by
August 2, 2019.
August 2, 2019, Defendant supplemented the responses to the
requests for production. Dkt.97-1 at 59-73. That same day, a
Friday, counsel for Defendant emailed Plaintiffs’
counsel in response to the July 26 email. Dkt. 104-4. He
confirmed that he would be “making similar amendments
to our responses to interrogatories” and having his
client execute them. Id. He noted that he would be
out of the office the following week, which ended August 9,
2019. Id. Plaintiffs nevertheless filed the instant
motion to compel on August 8, 2019. Dkt. 97.
BEFORE THIS COURT
motion, Plaintiffs’ counsel explains why the responses
to all three discovery tools are deficient. Each type of
discovery will be addressed in turn.
for Admission/Privilege Log
than Plaintiffs’ argument in the instant motion,
Plaintiffs never conveyed anything to Defendant regarding the
responses to the requests for admission or Defendant’s
privilege log. In this regard, Plaintiffs have failed to
comply with the good-faith conferral required by Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 37 and Local Rule 3.01(g). See
Progressive Emu, Inc. v. Nutrition & Fitness Inc.,
2019 WL 3798494, at *5 n.10 (11th Cir. 2019) (noting that
Rule 37 “expressly requires an attempt to confer in
good faith before filing a motion to compel” and local
rule may impose a duty to confer); MacKay v. Creative
Hairdressers, Inc., No. 3:17-cv-421-J-32MCR, 2019 WL
937734, at *1 (M.D. Fla. Jan. 7, 2019) (noting that Rule
3.01(g) means to “speak to each other in person or by
telephone, in a good faith attempt” to resolve
issues). The responses to the requests for
admission and the privilege log will therefore not be finally
determined, and the motion is denied without prejudice due to
failure to confer appropriately.
respect to the interrogatory answers, Plaintiffs likewise
failed to confer sufficiently in good faith. The first time
Defendant was aware of any infirmities was the July 26 email.
On August 2, Defendant communicated that amended responses
would be forthcoming, although implying that his absence the
following week may cause delay. By filing the motion the
following week, before speaking again with Defendant’s
counsel, Plaintiffs did not confer in good faith.
Correspondence alone does not satisfy the meet-and-confer
requirement of Rule 37 or Rule 3.01(g). Id. The
answers to the interrogatories will therefore not be
examined, and the motion is denied without prejudice due to
failure to confer appropriately.